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The Record and guide: v. 36, no. 909: August 15, 1885

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August 15, 1885 The Record and Guide. 903 THE RECORD AND GUIDE, Published every Saturday. 191 Broadw^av, IST. TT. Oar Telephone Call is • • • • JOHN 370. TERMS: OIVE TEAR, in advance, SIX DOLLARS. Couiniuiiications should be addressed to C. W. SWEET, 191 Broadway. J. T. LINDSEY, Business Manager. Vol. XXXVI. AUGUST 15, 1885. No. 909 The correspondence between Messrs. Pender, Green, Field and Gould, published by the Western Union Telegraph Company, makes entertaining reading for spectators. But for parties engaged in competing telegraph enterprises it will not furnish much enter¬ tainment. It furnishes one more exposure of the diflSculties of competition in fields where the new competitor can have no local territory of his own to pre-empt, and where he must compete unsup¬ ported against perfected organization, great resources and an established business. Fortunately for the country the telegraph interests, though large, are not like the railroad interests—over¬ shadowing ; and whoever suffers iu the battle now in progress between competing lines the general movement of trade will not be very seriously affected. One thing should be clear. Two strong and equally well established telegraphic companies would never lead to che.ap telegraphy. They would combine to maintain rates, and it will be only while one company is weak and struggling for life that the public can look for cheaper service. Whether cheaper service, temporarily, and at the expense of financial demoralization is worth while is another question. The propensity of Jiuman nature to get possession of property without giving an equivalent in any sort of hard labor is illustrated again by the parties who propose to settle down on a comfortable estate valued at $660,000,000 in the middle or Hailem section of this city. Claims so faint and indefinite that they have been per¬ mitted to lie dormant for nearly two centuries would not ordinarily be thought a very good basis for a law suit in which there would be a trifle of $660,000,000, backed up by several generations of possession, pledged for the defence. But the claimants for this Harlem estate are perhaps people of sufllicient leisure and young enough in years to begin a long chase for a fortune. There is a story told of a naval officer who entertained his companions at the mess table, when at sea, with fabulous stories about a fictitious horse, claimed to be in his possession, until he so wrought upon his own credulity that, on the ship arriving m Boston, he went at once to a horse furnishing establishment and bought a saddle. Some¬ thing of this sort must occur in the experiences of most of these claimants for large properties. There is hardly a great city in the Union not half held in claimant's fee simple by some crank. Mr. Dorman B, Eaton seems to have an idea that his function is to take charge of all the affairs of this Republic. This idea ought to be dispelled in the interest, among other things, of Civil Service Reform. Mr, Eaton's latest performance is his most surprising. He had the impudence to call on Surveyor Beattie and lecture him privately about the manner in which he conducted his oflSce, Mr. Beattie snubbed him, very properly, by refusing to hear any unof¬ ficial criticisms from hira. It is an old saying, that to get anything done which nobody has a strong personal interest ia doing, you must get a man who has not a well-balanced mind, and who is therefore given to riding hobbies. Mr. Eaton's hobby would be a more useful and meritorious hobby if his rider understood himself better. But Mr. Eaton must not be permitted to take charge of all the public departments simply because he means well and is zealous. One of these days, if he keeps on, he will get himself in collision with President Cleveland, and when that happens he will be very much surprised. About the worst piece of bungling in the local transit sys¬ tem in New York and Brooklyn may be found in the connection between the elevated railway system of the two cities and the bridge. The trustees have puzzled over the New York terminus until, in apparent disgust and despair, they have adopted about the worst suggestion for an improvement that could have been offered; and now we hear that they are about to patch up a still more incon¬ gruous and clumsy device for making a connection with the rail¬ way on the other side of the river.* Yet the elevated railroads in both cities were located long after the plans for the bridge were made, md there is no good reason why th9 different ptnicturefi were brought together so badly. Posterity may be able to unravel this tangle, and secure something symmetrical and consistent; but we begin to despair of the present generation. By the way, there appears to be a great lack of gumption in New York, The only man who seems to possess this quality in excess is the Hon, Jacob Sharp, of Bowling Green and Central Park, and he is being perse¬ cuted by the poet of the Public Works Department for his advanced ideas. The marriage between New York and Brooklyn, celebrated at the inauguration of the bridge, is proving to have been a very left-handed alliance. The British government is negotiating with the United Statesand other countries to establish an international parcels post; in other words, to organize a system similar to our American express busi¬ ness, by which goods and wares weighing less than ten pounds can be sent in the mails to all parts of the earth. The inland parcels post in England has proved a great success. In two years the num¬ ber of parcels increased from 15,000,000 to 37,000,000. The system has recently been extended to all the colonies of Great Britain. It is the wish of the government to reduce the cost of these packages, but the English railway companies, although they receive half the gross receipts of this immense business, are unwilling to reduce the tariff of charges and are, in consequence, to be disciplined by act of Parliament, which has a right to fix a rate and leave the decision of its justice to arbiters. Lord John Manners, the Tory Post¬ master-General, is authority for the statement that a test was made to ascertain which was the most efficient service—that of the govern¬ ment or the private express companies. The result was altogether in favor of the postoffice, a fact that will astonish some Americans, who seem to think that nothing government can do but what can be much better and more cheaply done by private enterprise, and yet who have before their eyes every day an example of the con¬ trary in our postoffice compared with our express service. An increase of the parcel post business between nations would be great public benefit and an advantage to trade; but, after all, extensions of commerce will advantage foreign nations more than the United States, as we have no steamships on the ocean away from our own coast. Many persons who were informed no longer ago than last spring, on the faith of the daily press, that the entrance to New York har¬ bor from the sea was hereafter to be kept open at small expense, by means of a hydraulic plow, will regret to learn that the new dredge has proved a failure. Colonel Gillespie's report in favor of the jetty system, to be perfected at a cost of |6,000,000, revives the sub¬ ject of harbor improvement on a grand scale, and makes the day when the shoaling of the channels shall cease to be a matter of pub¬ lic concern again seem distant. But, in the naeantime, any visitors to the lower bay may watch the long line of garbage scows going out and in and dumping material enough, were it not for the nat¬ ural action of the tides and the force of several imprisoned rivers, to hermetically seal the harbor from foreign invasion in a few months. It will not be creditable to the city of New York to continue this operation until Congress is forced to interfere, and pass a law forbidding the city from damaging her own harbor. It is strange we have no street cars in New York propelled by compressed air. In Nantea, France, this motive power has been tested for six years, and the success has been eo marked that the ** Mekarski " invention, aa it ia called, has just been introduced into London, on the Caledonian line, where it had been tested for two years before being endorsed. The pressure is 450 pounds to the square inch, and the air is forced through hot water when the reservoirs in the cars are being charged. With this motor the cars could be run twenty-five miles an hour, but the city ordinance restrict them to eight miles. The first cost of these air-driven cara is very heavy, but the saving in running them more than makes up the difference in a short time. There is, of course, a saving in the purchase of horses, feed, care of stable, etc. The street cars are like the ordinary ones, except that the floor is further above the pavement 80 as to allow apace for the machinery under the car. All the London papers commend these air-driven tramway cars warmly, and they ought to be tested in this city. A mugwump morning journal says the contest in New York State this fall should be to see which party can put forward the best candidates for legislative positions. But has not this been the consideration at every State election in the past, and has it not been found impossible to select wise and incorruptible State senators and assemblymen ? It is quite beyond the powers of the voters to cast their ballots for the best men. The party machines put their own representatives in the field, and in nine cases in ten the voter has to choose between two men equally unfit, so he votes for his party candidate and a pretty mess he generally makes of it. The fact is, we need in the State what we have partially fiecuj-e<1 tor "^^w York Q,nd Brooklyn—greater execi;tivo responr^i-